Red Rover funds CT’s first domestic violence shelter

Connecticut’s First Pet-Friendly Domestic Violence Shelter A recent victory for domestic violence survivors everywhere was gained this year: Connecticut opened the first ever pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in the state! Connecticut now makes 40 states across the country offering accommodations for both domestic violence survivors and their furry friends. This revolutionary facility, Safe Futures, is only the second facility across the entire northeast that allows pets to join their owners in the shelters. While there is much room for improvement in the acceptance of animals into these facilities, Safe Futures are setting the example for other shelters, all while helping survivors and their pets find peace. The Connecticut facility received a $15,000 grant from RedRover, an organization motivated by maintaining the wellbeing of all animals, including keeping them with their owners through the struggles of … Read More

Understanding Animal Organizations: Shelters, Humane Societies, and Sanctuaries

If you search the Internet for pet adoptions or volunteer opportunities, you may get overwhelmed: shelters, rescue leagues, humane societies, sanctuaries, refuges. They seem interchangeable (and some do use them interchangeably), but each provides different services. Some of the services overlap, but all animal organizations missions align to prioritize animal health and safety. Regardless of the organization, do your research before adopting, donating, or volunteering. Ask local veterinarians, groomers, and walkers about them. If you can’t get information about the organization from trusted local sources, it’s probably best to avoid it. Animal Shelters The word “shelter” brings to mind dogs confined to cages and cats piled into a small space. But a shelter is simply a government-owned facility that takes in and cares for homeless animals. Depending on the town income and funding assignments, they … Read More

What You Need to Know About Canine Influenza

While we battle one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, it’s important to remember that there is a variation that affects dogs and cats. Most dog owners are familiar with kennel cough but don’t think about canine influenza, which shares some of the same symptoms. Dog flu isn’t as severe (kennel cough is often a combination of different viruses or bacteria), but it can be debilitating and some cases lead to pneumonia. Prevention There isn’t a season for dog flu. Since its discovery in 2015, it has appeared all over the U.S. at different times of the year. Dogs transmit it to each other through their breath and saliva. Because it’s a virus, it can stick to objects for up to two days, which means humans and other pets can transmit it. Dogs … Read More

Pets and Cold Weather

If you’re on the East Coast, you probably experienced some part of the recent blizzard, caused by a historic bomb cyclone on January 3. In New England, we saw two feet of snow in one day and over 75-mile-an-hour winds. Needless to say, it was cold. Unless you have a Samoyed or a Maine Coon, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog or cat. Yes, pets have fur and padded paws. Humans make up for their lack of fur and pads with clothes and shoes and gloves. So we’re about even in the winter. Pets can experience similar problems to humans in the winter. These can be as simple as dry skin or as extreme as hyperthermia. And, like humans, issues can begin to arise minutes after being outside. … Read More

California Wildfire: Safe Ways to Help Animals

For the last two weeks, California and much of the western-coast has been subject to raging wildfire, caused by extreme heat, high winds and unusually low levels of humidity. The Thomas fire has so far damaged a staggering 800 homes and 230,000 acres of land across both Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.[1] While the priority has been saving as many human lives and preventing as much damage to property as possible, there has also been a lot of news coverage regarding animal safety and rescue; this applies to both livestock and household pets. Some of this coverage has provided contradictory guidance in terms of whether or not you should help these animals, and how you can do this without putting yourself at risk. With this in mind, we thought we would list a few ways … Read More

10 Tips to Keep Pets Healthy this Holiday Season

10 Ways to Keep Pets Healthy this Holiday Season

The holidays can be filled with joy, but they can also be stressful for both you and your pets. Whatever you have on the agenda this season, read on for our tips to keep all your furry friends happy and healthy. Watch out for these decoration don’ts. Make sure Christmas trees and other heavy decorations are secured, and always unplug lights when you’re not at home. Skip the tinsel, as many pets are tempted to eat it and it can cause intestinal blockages. Last, avoid putting any additives (such as aspirin) in your Christmas tree water, which pets may drink. Know your holiday plants. Amaryllis, poinsettia, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly can all be toxic to pets if eaten. Skip them all together if you have an especially young or curious pet, or keep … Read More

Study Reveals that Cats Prefer Human Social Interaction

credit: colostate.edu Researchers at Oregon State University have published the results of a study on household and shelter cats. After offering four different types of stimuli to individual cats, they discovered that, overall, cats preferred social interaction with humans to food. Because cats have developed an unemotional reputation based on independence, many found this surprising. However, if you’ve ever lived with a cat, these results probably didn’t reveal any new information. They won’t follow you around like puppies do, but cats do show affection in a variety of ways. Behavioral Study of Household and Feral Cats There are dozens of short articles summarizing the study’s findings without an explanation of the testing.  If you were on social media in 2013, you probably remember a similar viral story about domestic cats killing billions of birds and … Read More

Caring for an Abused Cat

Cats have a reputation for independence, where living with a cat is more akin to having a roommate than a loving companion. There’s some truth to this myth—especially when compared to their obedient canine counterparts—but they do have an affectionate side. In fact, a recent study found that, when given the option, most cats will select human interaction over food. For a species that developed special communication for their human companions, this shouldn’t be surprising. The unique bond that cats develop with their owners isn’t based on pack behavior. Cats develop individual relationships. When a human abuses that relationship, the effects can be more drastic than what we see in dogs. Dog instinct tells them to find safety in a new pack. Cat instinct tells them to find safety hidden away and alone. As a … Read More

Caring for an Abused Dog

Prolonged exposure to abuse affects dogs in different ways. A 2015 study discovered that abused dogs displayed a dozen different behavior issues, including excitability, hyperactivity, attention seeking, and barking. While it sounds intimidating, most behavior issues can be trained out of a dog. Obviously, we don’t expect foster households to hold rigorous training for their foster dogs, but using the experience of experts can help an abused dog adjust to his temporary home. Some behavior issues can be approached with multiple tactics, so select one that works best for you and your foster dog. Consistency and repetition are paramount, and working together will help build your relationship. A Safe Home Your foster dog should know that their temporary home is safe. Establish a loose schedule that he will learn, including walks and eating. Don’t force … Read More

Introducing a Foster Cat To Your Home

Cats are known for their independence, so many people assume a cat will adjust on its own to a new home. While they do require time and their own space, they shouldn’t be expected to accept their new surroundings immediately. Cats thrive on routine and security, and, with a little patience and guidance from you, they should find a comforting new schedule while being fostered in your home. Preparing your Home Cats want to know every inch of their home and will thoroughly explore their territory. Check each room in your house and make changes as necessary: Many household items are poisonous to cats. Put away cleaners, citrus sprays, essential oils, and medications. Use childproof latches on any cabinets that contain these items. Many indoor plants will poison cats if they chew on them. Consider … Read More